This Completely Trackless Wooden Roller Coaster Is Like Nothing You’ve Ridden Before (Video)
Thrill-seekers constantly on the hunt for their next great ride need look no further than the world’s only trackless wooden bobsled coaster.
Located within the Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, PA, the coaster doesn’t utilize a track at all, instead featuring custom-designed wooden cars with multi-directional wheels. The cars glide through a smooth, hard surface, similar to a luge track, picking up speed with each turn.
The concept (which sounds slightly terrifying but seriously cool) means the coaster isn’t locked into exactly the same path each time, resulting in a slightly different experience every time you ride. As Knoebels explains, the ride is controlled by the forces of gravity and momentum alone, allowing passengers to turn, swoop, and swerve freely.
Basing the ride off of a classic attraction from the 1906s in Cleveland’s Euclid Beach Park, Knoebel’s dedicated team and owner Dick Knoebel spent over seven years recreating Flying Turns without ever seeing construction documents of the original. Today, it’s one of the park’s biggest attractions, evoking nostalgia for some of the park's older guests and eliciting excitement from their younger ones.
The two-minute-long ride reaches heights of 47 feet and speeds of 24 miles per hour. While that may not seem thrillingly fast to coaster diehards, the hills, twists and turns and feeling of gliding without a track make for a unique and exciting experience.
Flying Turns can be found at “America’s Largest Free Admission Amusement Park,” where admission, parking, entertainment, and facilities are all free. Guests pay only for the rides they want to ride, or can choose to pay a maximum of $47 to ride all day. The park also features a variety of other thrill rides, family rides, and kids’ attractions, as well as a pool, golf course, restaurants, and shops.